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I'd Like You To Meet - My Step Brother Frankenstein

By Jennifer DeFilippo

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Pavel covers his wound from the war


The negative effects of war on an individual's well being despite the country they fight for are all universally the same. The mental and emotional psyches of human beings are terribly disrupted when they are put on the battle field. When a soldier has finished their service they are faced with another obstacle almost as bad as the war itself. They must return home to live amongst those who only experience war from their newspapers and televisions. Director Valery Todorovsky tells this story through the life of a young Russian man named Pavel. In My Step Brother Frankenstein, we watch a family try to support the deteriorating mind of a young wounded Russian soldier.


The lives of a hard working comfortable family are one day disrupted by a controversial letter that arrives at their door. Inside the letter is written that Yulik (Leonid Yarmolnik) father's a son from another woman. This son is a 20 year old wounded soldier whose mother had recently passed away. As a result, he needed other housing until his war wounds were properly healed. The letter alone sends the family into a flurry of anxieties. But when Pavel (Daniil Spivakovsky) arrives at their door step their soft hearts cannot turn away the injured man despite their disbeliefs.

Pavel waits for the bus

Pavel was an endearing and loveable character who became eerier as the movie progressed. His war wound consisted of a gouged out eye that gave him the appearance to outsiders as a disfigured creature rather than a human being. This mistreatment of Pavel in the film is something that is very familiar to Americans and to other countries as well. It is Yulik who spends the entire film, up to the very last moment, trying to save his son from further persecution due to his mental and physical state.

Yulik protects his family

Yulik immediately becomes Pavel's greatest companion. He decides to fund an eye replacement surgery for Pavel who insists on wanting a "diamond eye" because all the girls will like him. It is this behavior in the beginning that denotes Pavel's further deterioration throughout the film. It is at this point that Pavel begins to fight a war with "the enemy," a fictitious army that is frighteningly real inside his head.

Pavel hiding from the "enemy"

Yulik's wife Rita (Elena Yakovleva) tried to accept Pavel's existence in the beginning of the film but quickly begs and even threatens her husband to get rid of Pavel. She sees the fight going on inside of him and like the audience she has come to fear her family's safety. But despite his wife's requests Yulik continues to try to help Pavel through his mental distress. Valery Todorovsky again presents us with the very real dilemma that all families of war veterans face when their loved ones return home. They fight with the lost ideal of who their loved one once was and who they are now.

Pavel waits

The film takes a turn for the worst when Pavel's fight with the enemy escapes outside of his mind and into the real world. The lives of Yulik and his family are at the mercy of Pavel's delusions. The film is immediately sent into the most terrifying half hour an audience has ever been expected to live through. It becomes heartbreaking when a father's determination to save his son is no match for the damage his son already endured.

Pavel with his step-sister

If you would like to find out more about 'My Step Brother Frankenstein' you can check out the official site: www.intercinema.ru

Published on Dec 31, 1969

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